• King County prosecutor joins battle against death penalty

    By: Essex Porter


    Jane Hungerford-Trapp was murdered in 1996.

    Cecil Davis got a life sentence for killing her, and the death penalty for killing another woman.

    “I believe that he deserves the death penalty,” Hungerford-Trapp’s daughter testified today before the Senate Law and Justice committee.

    Jessie Trapp told senators Monday that her family is still waiting for justice.

    “I have an 8-year-old daughter that cries all the time, wondering why she didn't get to meet my mother, why somebody took her life. And I have no answers for her, at all. He is a monster.” 

    But most of the eight inmates on Washington's Death Row have been there for a decade or more while millions of dollars have been spent on mandatory appeals.

    So, after 27 years in the prosecutor's office, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg has come out against the death penalty.

    “This doesn't serve the needs of victims at all. It strings these cases out for decades and decades and the victims I've dealt with who have cases on death row are always worried that some court somewhere is going to let them out,” Satterberg said.

    But Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe believes the death penalty is still crucial for at least some killers. He referred to the case of strangled corrections officer Jayme Biendl.

    “If you are already serving life in prison, which that man was, and you kill another inmate or a corrections officer, you aren't going to face any more punishment,” Roe said.

    Satterberg argues that a sentence of life without parole is more effective than a death sentence that is so difficult to carry out.

    “We have a life without possibility of parole sentence, that is the sentence that anybody convicted of aggravated murder will get. That is a death sentence, they get sent to prison to die. They will not be released.”

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